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Interpretations of history and culture in Japanese- and Chinese-Canadian picturebooks : a new historical approach Yamakami, Brenda Karen Akimi


This study explores insider and outsider perspectives in a sample of Japanese- and Chinese-Canadian picturebooks: Little Fingerling (written by Monica Hughes and illustrated by Brenda Clark), West Coast Chinese Boy (written and illustrated by Sing Lim), Roses Sing on New Snow (written by Paul Yee and illustrated by Harvey Chan), Ghost Train (written by Paul Yee and illustrated by Harvey Chan), and Naomi's Tree (written by Joy Kogawa and illustrated by Ruth Ohi). Through the critical lenses of New Historicism, visual semiotics, and image-text interaction theories these selected works are examined for cultural and historical authenticity. The analysis concludes, overall, that insider perspectives are more authentic for these reasons: they better reflect the voices of the cultural groups they represent; they consider a broader range of philosophical and political beliefs towards history; they generate more intense reactions from readers and viewers: and they give power to people whose narratives have been suppressed in the past.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported